Tozan

Long seeking it through others, I was far from reaching it. Now I go by myself; I meet it everywhere. It is just I myself, And I am not itself. Understanding this way, I can be as I am.

Uchiyama Roshi

‘The idea of transforming delusion to attain enlightenment is easy to understand in terms of our ordinary way of thinking, yet it is not in accord with the buddha-dharma. In Buddhism, the dichotomy of delusion and enlightenment is transcended from the very beginning. We have to practice and actualize right now, right here in the […]

Taking Refuge in Sangha

In contrast to the previous flight on my trip, when I landed back at Gatwick after the stay in Belfast clouds were piling up as a new weather system moved in. That evening, as my friends and I set out for an Indian dinner, we needed umbrellas in a sudden downpour, and rain re-appeared throughout the […]

Koun Yamada

‘In olden times, Zen practitioners used to go about visiting Zen masters and having mondo [dharma questioning]; this was called angya, or pilgrimage. It was the custom to take along a staff. One day a monk from Baso’s monastery was in the mountains hunting for a branch of a tree to serve as his staff for […]

Katagiri Roshi

‘When you see in the proper way, what do you see? You see the true nature of time. In Japanese we say mujo. Mu is “nothing” and jo is “permanence”, so mujo means “no permanence” or “impermanence”. Seeing impermanence is not to face a kind of nihilism that leads to despair; it is to become yourself as you really […]

Shodo Harada

‘When the Buddha spoke from the top of Vulture Peak, he held out a single flower in front of everyone. This was not just any flower – it was the Buddha’s experience, the manifesting of the Buddha’s very essence. Even if it is true that humans are simply another type of animal, as some people […]

Hongzhi

‘The eye cannot see itself, but neither can its function be dimmed. The light streams out from the source, pure and white, shining everywhere. The reed flowers intermingle with the snow; the bright moon bathes the autumn. Here you have the energetic opportunity for mutual union. On the path of careful observation, valiantly carry it […]

Sekkei Harada

‘Please understand that zazen is not a means to attain something – it is the final result. The problem is that while we are already in the middle of the result, we cannot verify it as our own. For that reason, even though we are in the result itself, we search for another result. This […]

Nyogen Senzaki

‘Some of you coming to this meditation class for the first time may think we are attempting an achievement – advancing toward becoming buddhas. Christians gather at a prayer meeting and believe that their purification is more advanced than it was at their last meeting. Islamists count every bow as a stepping-stone toward Mecca. If […]